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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

Pete Reilly posted about Teacher Dropouts a few days ago.  Please take 3 minutes to read his entire post, but I'll hit a couple highlights that stood out to me:
  1. Former teachers claim better benefits and job security in teaching. 
  2. Former teachers claim  greater autonomy, intellectual challenge, and prestige in other careers.
Why did these items stand out?  I am led to believe or confirm...
  1. Teachers prefer stability and security over risk and opportunity.  Based on Myers-Briggs and other Personality Profile identifiers, it may be true that teachers are more likely to be averse to risk, in preference for status quo.
  2. Pete finishes with a question: " Will integrating technology into this environment make a real difference or do we need to transform the environment?"  My response is that if my assumption is correct, that teachers who stay have a tendency toward the status quo, then technology integration will do nothing to transform the environment.  We will have to wait until the next generation of teachers appears, who have used technology as a way of life - their status quo, so to speak - and the environment changes.  But then it will still be behind where the future will be.
Back to the 6-word motto -- Bold Leadership For A Brighter Yesterday.

Now for my questions:
  • What are former teachers doing now? 
  • For what careers did teaching prepare them?
  • Do former teachers like and/or enjoy their current position?
My favorite part was the quote by Laird, DeBell, and Chapman:

“..in comparison to the high school student dropout rate, the teacher turnover rate over an equivalent four-year period is greater than the student population dropout rate.” Laird, DeBell, and Chapman (2006)

In my mind, this is one of the greatest paradoxical ironies in the history of our country.

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